This is the dramatic moment a Russian fighter pilot was forced to eject from his burning plane moments before it crashed and exploded.
Newly released helmet camera footage captures the pilot stepping out of a Su-25 jet as it spins out of control, believed to be over Belgorod, Russia, in June.
It is believed that the jet in question had severed a nearby power line, snapping off one of its tail fins and plunging it to the ground.
But pro-Ukrainian sources claimed that he had in fact been shot.
This is the moment the pilot of a Russian Su-25 jet ejected as the plane burst into flames, then crashed back to earth
Newly released images are believed to capture an accident over Belgorod – a region of Russia – in June
Russian war bloggers had reported on the crash as it happened, along with footage of the wreckage of the plane burning in a field.
They said that “according to preliminary data, the aircraft struck a power line pole”.
But new video first released on Sunday captures the crash from the pilot’s perspective.
The footage appears to begin moments after the plane was struck – either by some sort of anti-aircraft missile or by a power line.
The jet begins to twist in the air as the pilot loses control, before the plane spins sideways and rolls upside down.
Halfway through the roll, the pilot ejects – capturing a stunning glimpse of his own plane as he flies away.
Parts of the plane break off as it falls and there is a fire in one of the engines.
Half of the rear right caudal fin appears to be missing. There are “V” war marks on the fuselage and a red number “09” on the side.
Online observers believe the plane is likely a Su-25SM aircraft based in the Russian Far East that had been transferred to Ukraine to fight in the war.
Footage captures the pilot (visible in a rear-view mirror, left) losing control of the plane at low altitude before pressing the eject button
The video shows the pilot’s parachute deployment before he descends to earth and lands in a field, near the wreckage of his plane
Pro-Ukrainian sources sharing the footage claimed it showed the plane was shot down, but internet sleuths believe it may have cut a power line
The pilot’s parachute is seen deploying before he descends back to earth as his jet hits the ground several hundred feet away and explodes.
This is just the latest embarrassing incident involving one of Russia’s fighter jets.
On Sunday, a Su-30 plane on a training flight over Irkutsk in eastern Russia nosedived into the ground, killing its two pilots.
These airmen have since been named Maxim Konyushin, 50 and renowned test pilot, and Major Viktor Kryukov, 43.
The exact cause of the crash remains a mystery, although reports have emerged that both pilots may have passed out in the cockpit.
A second plane was sent to make contact with the doomed aircraft after it failed to respond to calls from the Irkutsk Aviation Factory and began to spin on autopilot.
The plane is believed to have rotated “for a considerable period” before its fuel ran out and the plane plunged to the ground.
The crew of the second plane saw the pilots “with their heads down, in other words, they both passed out,” a source at the test plant said.
The insider told SibReal media that shocking security abuses were common at the factory – one of Russia’s leading aircraft manufacturers.
Maxim Konyushin, 50 (left), a renowned Russian test pilot and Major Viktor Kryukov, 43 (right) were killed on Sunday after their Su-30 plane crashed
Pilots were taking the jet on a test flight over the eastern Russian city of Irkutsk when it plunged into the ground and exploded.
“Given the quality of the pre-flight and post-flight checks, I’m not at all surprised,” the source said. Boxes have been checked but security measures have not been correctly applied.
‘Obviously, if both pilots blacked out simultaneously, something was wrong with the cabin [air pressure]’.
Yet another eyewitness disputed this account, saying, “I watched him fly. The plane rose sharply upwards, then began to fall, like a stone, downwards.
Air Force Maj. Andrei Krasnoperov said a problem was likely related to oxygen on the plane.
But experts quoted by Readovka media disputed that the plane was on autopilot and had run out of fuel, since its engines were heard running when it crashed.
“There was no attempt to straighten the flight line by the pilots during the accident, which confirms the version of at least the unconsciousness of those on board,” the report said.
This is the extraordinary moment a Russian Su-34 fighter/bomber crashed next to an apartment building in the city of Yeysk, setting the building on fire as the pilots ejected (right)
“Fighter pilots must wear oxygen masks the entire flight, so a system malfunction may have been the cause of the unconsciousness.”
They demanded that the criminal investigation of the Russian Investigative Committee examine “the details of the accident and determine exactly what happened, since the information currently available does not allow to draw precise conclusions”.
It comes shortly after another Russian plane – a Sukhoi 34 fighter-bomber – plunged into an apartment building in the city of Yeysk and exploded, killing at least 13 people.
Ten people burned to death inside the building, including three children, while three others died jumping from the roof rather than perish in the fire.
Both pilots ejected safely.
The Russian military said the men were taking part in training when the accident happened, denying that some of the deaths were caused by the ammunition explosion.
The accident is another humiliating loss for President Putin’s beleaguered air force, which has now suffered eleven non-combat related accidents since the start of the war.